Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) and Critical Path Method (CPM)

The performance of the government has to be evaluated in a courteous manner to ensure the efficiency of administration. Developmental program is a key to ensure welfare and they have to be evaluated in a scientific manner.

PERT and CPM are network techniques for project management in a time bound and cost-conscious manner. They are useful for planning and control of complex projects involving a large no. of activities, huge costs and considerable time.

PERT and CPM recognize the systems or inter-related nature of elements within large work projects.

The application of PERT and CPM for project management involves the following steps:
1. Identification of all key activities required for completion of project

2. Determination of sequence of activities

3. Assignment of time span for completion of each activity in the network and calculation of total duration of project completion

4. On the basis of close analysis critical activities and events in the network are identified. A critical path is drawn connecting these activities. Critical path is the longest possible time required for completion of project.

These techniques are very useful when project involves a large number of activities. It makes the project manager list out all the possible activities, their relationships and find out which activities can be performed simultaneously and which needs to be completed in sequence. Thereby find out the best possible manner of completing the project.

The technique helps managers to plan and schedule the activities in a detailed manner and keep a close watch on the all critical dimensions of project execution.

The technique has wide ranging application in business and non-business organisations, there are some problems are associated in application as difficulty of estimating time span for each activity.


1. PERT gives more attention to time dimension of a project planning and control while CPM gives more attention to the cost dimension.

2. In PERT uncertainty in timely completion of project is reduced by considering three time estimates- pessimistic time, optimistic time and normal expected time. In CPM uncertainty remains higher only one time estimate is taken.

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